Robots are finding their place in responding to the needs of a population that is aging and increasingly feeling isolated.

Yuko Kano, JAPAN Forward

Dr Satoshi Tsujikawa who is demonstrating the operation of a Comfort Robot. Robots are proposed as solutions to the problems of elderly citizens living alone or in caregiving facilities. Kadoma City, Osaka Prefecture. | Photo courtesy of © JAPAN Forward

With the aging of the population and the shift toward nuclear families, many elderly people feel lonely and anxious, living in nursing homes or alone in their homes. Normal social interactions have also decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this backdrop, the development of robots that can heal people is advancing from a variety of perspectives. RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution renowned for its work across a diverse range of scientific disciplines, has developed an android that can make human-like facial expressions and is looking to use it in nursing care settings.

Meanwhile, doctors in Osaka put a robot to practical use in February 2022 that can talk to elderly people living alone to ease their worries.

Can robots relieve the loneliness and anxiety of the elderly?

Facial Expressions of Empathy

Android robots, which look very much like humans, are being tested in stores to provide customer service. However, more is needed if robots are to empathize with and comfort the hearts of the elderly. It is essential that they be able to convey emotions using facial expressions, and that can be accurately understood by others.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.